Ten of my favourite jewellery songs

This is one topic I’ve been toying with for a long, long time: Hindi film songs that mention jewellery. Given that romantic songs are so common in old Hindi cinema—and that shringaar ras, which includes the ‘adornment of the self’—is so very integral a part of romantic love, it’s no surprise that jewellery finds a mention in so many songs.  From a fleeting Pag mein ghoonghar baandhke to an entire song about a lost earring, there are so many ornaments mentioned in Hindi film songs, one could actually create an entire list of jewellery songs without repeating an ornament.

So, why not? A list in which each song mentions—and prominently, in the first two lines of the song—an ornament of some sort. And, to make life somewhat less easy for myself (why am I always doing this?!), no two songs feature the same ornament. In addition, one condition for each song I’ve chosen is that it must literally be about an ornament; allegories, metaphors, and symbols don’t count (which is why you won’t see in this list Mila hai kisi ka jhumka—which refers to a flower as a earring, or Chhoti si mulaaqat pyaar ban gayi pyaar banke gale ka haar ban gayi—which uses an idiom: the gale ka haar, or necklace, meaning something very dear).

Jewellery Songs

All these songs are, as always, from pre-70s films that I’ve seen. Here goes, in no particular order:

1. Jhumka. Jhumka gira re Bareilly ke bazaar mein (Mera Saaya, 1966): To begin with, earrings. A jhumka is not just any earring. It’s a very distinctive style: a dangling dome-shaped ornament which hangs from a stud secured at the ear. And it’s the main theme of this famous song, in which a street dancer sings of her jhumka falling off in the bazaar at Bareilly (and later, in a garden). All the result of a certain amount of banter and even manhandling by her (obviously rather ardent) beloved. The picturisation messes up one detail, though: Sadhana isn’t wearing jhumkas. One could argue that since she lost one jhumka, though, she’s had to get another pair of earrings for herself.

Interestingly, while the song from Mera Saaya is very well-known and has become the basis for various remixes, few people know that the first line—Jhumka gira re Bareilly ke bazaar mein—isn’t original: Shamshad Begum had sung a song with this same first line in a film back in 1947. The rest of the lyrics are completely different, as is the music, but still.

Jhumka gira re Bareilly ke bazaar mein, from Mera Saaya

2. Baala. Dhoondo dhoondo re saajna mere kaan ka baala (Ganga Jamuna, 1961): From one earring to another, from one song about a lost earring to another. A baala, however, is quite different from a jhumka: it is a simple circular earring, the sort that used to be the first earrings to be put in little girls’ ears after they were pierced. There is something very everyday, relatively humble, about baalas (even though you do come across some fairly fancy ones, too): which is why it fits in perfectly with the idea of a village woman wearing them.

In the context of Dhoondo dhoondo re saajna, the baala as a symbol of innocence, of childhood—comes to the fore, as well. The lyrics are quite plainly about how the singer’s loss of her baala is really also about the loss of her maidenhood: her suhaag raat has robbed her not only of her baala (which is now hooked onto her husband’s kurta), but also of her being a baalika, a girl.

Interestingly, this is one of the few songs where the ornament is actually described: its shape is like that of the moon, and strings of red beads hang from it.

Dhoondo dhoondo re saajna dhoondo, from Ganga Jamuna

3. Paayal. Jhanak-jhanak tori baaje paayaliya (Mere Huzoor, 1968): From the ears to the feet, and from songs sung by women to a song sung by a man, even though the wearer is a woman (two women, to be precise: dancers played by Laxmi Chhaya and Madhumati). The dissolute nawab played by Raj Kumar stumbles about a kotha, singing of the tinkling of the paayals, the anklets worn by the two dancers. In my opinion, this is one song that should be heard and not seen. Manna Dey sings it beautifully (and it’s not an easy song to sing!), but there’s a certain lewdness about the picturisation that doesn’t appeal to me at all.

Jhanak-jhanak tori baaje payaliya, from Mere Huzoor

4. Ghungroo. Chham-chham ghungroo bolein (Kaajal, 1965): I was discussing this post with a friend the other day, and this was one ornament we disagreed about. She said ghungroos, or ankle bells, weren’t ornaments; they were functional, practical. I agreed that they were functional (tied around a dancer’s ankles, they provide a tuneful jingling that accompanies the dance in addition to the music provided). But (somewhat like watches) I think ghungroos do serve a dual purpose: primarily functional, but also decorative. So (and since this is my blog!), ghungroos do feature in my list.

In this song, as in the previous song, the person wearing the ornament isn’t the one doing the singing. Padmini plays the ghungroo-wearing dancer, while Meena Kumari, playing her sister-in-law, does the singing (Padmini does lip-sync to part of the song, but since there’s only one playback singer, I’m assuming this means she’s supposed to be lip-syncing to Meena Kumari’s song).

Whatever, this is a lovely song. Beautiful music (Ravi, an old favourite), lovely rendition, and beautiful lyrics (by Sahir; it’s interesting to compare this song with Madhuban mein Radhika naache re and Thaare rahiyo, with both of which it shares some similarities—the descriptions of Radha’s loveliness, and the blaming of the ghungroos/paayals for revealing the presence of the wearer when she would rather be silent, unnoticed). And Padmini’s dancing is superb.

Chham-chham ghungroo bolein, from Kaajal

5. Bichhua. Jhanan-jhanan baaje bichhua baaje (Chaand aur Suraj, 1965): Like the previous song, another one in a domestic setting, all very respectable. Here, though, there is not a gathering of guests and family members sitting around watching an accomplished young lady of the house perform for them. Instead, she dances as part of her practice, the other people with her being the musicians who accompany her, plus her dance teacher: an old gentleman and his servant are the only ‘audience’.

The bicchua, or toe ring, isn’t, at its most basic, the sort of ornament that would make a sound. But, adorned with tiny bells, it just might—and that is what the singer here bemoans. In lyrics that are almost a repeat of Chham-chham ghungroo bolein, she says that the tinkling of her bicchua wakes up her nanad, or sister-in-law, preventing her from going to her beloved (her husband). A wonderful song, and Tanuja is at her loveliest. So what if there isn’t actually a bichhua in sight (I can’t see one on her toes even in the one close-up during the song).

Jhanan-jhanan bichhua baae, from Chaand aur Suraj

6. Jhaanjhar. Paaon mein jhaanjhar jhaanjhar mein ghungroo (Faulad, 1963): Another, though slight less ubiquitous, ornament for the feet. The jhaanjhar is a strip of worked metal that sits atop the foot, secured to the paayal (or the ghungroos). I have personally never seen anybody except very demure filmi brides—not expected to move around very much, and that too in small mincing steps—wearing jhaanjhars, so I have a feeling these are probably not the sort of jewellery that would stay in place if one were to prance about too much.

But ‘prance about’ is exactly what a lovely Mumtaz and Minoo Mumtaz do in this wonderful little song from Faulad.  While the song is shringaar ras all through—every verse talks about some aspect of beauty and of dressing up, from the kangans with their precious stones, to the girl’s tresses and the buds she’s woven into them, it’s the jhaanjhars which get mentioned again and again. Not that either of the two girls actually seem to be wearing jhaanjhars, but anyway.

Paaon mein jhaanjhar, from Faulad

7. Churis. Lelo churiyaan neeli-peeli laal-hari aasmaani (Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thhi, 1970): And, from the feet to the hands. The hands have long been one of the most ornamented of body parts: with rings, bangles and bracelets of different kinds, they can really show off the wearer’s jewels (and, possibly, her wealth and lack of necessity to work with those hands?)

Whatever the case, coloured glass bangles—inexpensive, bright, pretty—are the sort of things just about any woman could afford. You didn’t need a fortune to buy them, or to replace them if they broke (and breaking bangles can be so symbolic in Hindi cinema!). Here, the bangle or churi becomes an excuse to serenade a sweetheart: Sanjay Khan’s character pretends to be a churiwallah trying to sell churis to his girl, though she cottons on very fast and joins him in a romantic little duet—in which the churi, and its symbolism as the sign of a married woman, does dominate.

Lelo churiyaan from Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thhi

8. Kangan. Jaanu jaanu ri kaahe khanke hai tora kangna (Insaan Jaag Utha, 1959): One of my favourite female duets: Asha Bhonsle and Geeta Dutt sing playback for Madhubala and Minoo Mumtaz in this sweetly teasing little song about the manifestations of love. The kangan, or bracelet, is the focus of both the picturisation as well as the music when the song begins: Minoo Mumtaz jangles her kangan (which has lovely little bells attached to it), the jangling echoed somewhat in the music—and then begins a playful little mutual leg-pulling as the girls tease each other about their respective beaus (played by Sunil Dutt and Sundar), who also, on the sly, listen in.

Other ornaments find a mention in this song too (bracelets, apparently, are not the only items of jewellery that herald a love): there’s a jhumka mentioned, as well as a paayal. But the prominent ornament, the highlight of the song, is the kangana.

Jaanu jaanu ri kaahe khanke hai tora kangana, from Insaan Jaag Utha

9. Chhalla. Aa meri rani le jaa chhalla nishaani (Anjaana, 1969): If one is talking about ornaments for the hands, how can one not talk about rings? (As far as I’m concerned, that’s very true, since the only ornaments I wear all the time are rings; I’m not much of a jewellery person). A chhalla is a ring (which is why a key ring is known as a ‘chaabi ka chhalla’—literally). In Aa meri rani le jaa chhalla nishaani, the chhalla—a plain, iron ring, no frills—is being forced onto a furious Babita, along with the most unwelcome attentions of Rajendra Kumar. You don’t get to see much of the chhalla except in brief snatches, but it’s there, symbolizing his infatuation with her.

Aa meri raani le jaa chhalla nishaani, from Anjaana

10. Necklace. Saiyyaan raja laa do gale ka mohe haar re (Naya Andaaz, 1956): Considering the wide array of chokers, ‘chains’, mangalsutras, and whatnot found draped about the necks of Indian women—both real-life and reel-life—one would expect songs about necklaces to abound. True, there is actually a film named after one (Naulakha Haar, 1953, starring Meena Kumari), but songs about haars or maalas seem to be few and far between.

But here, from Naya Andaaz (coincidentally, also starring Meena Kumari), is a song in which the heroine—a stage performer—importunes her beloved (Kishore Kumar, playing a poet/singer) to buy her a necklace. And other things, like bracelets, but she keeps coming back to the necklace, again and again.

Saiyyaan raja laa do gale ka mohe haar re, from Naya Andaaz

There are lots of other songs about jewellery out there. Which ones would you add to the list? (And, if you can come up with songs about ornaments other than the ones I’ve listed, that would be especially appreciated!)


222 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite jewellery songs

  1. I am not able to find the video, but there is a deliciously funny song in Johar Mehmood in Hongkong with Mehmood in drag singing Nathania haale to bada maza ho, with IS Johar.


    • Thank you! And I like Chham-chham baaje re payaliya too. Manna Dey was a class apart – and this one almost seems to be an echo of Jhanak-jhanak tori baaje paayaliya when it comes to lyrics. Plus, of course, the classical tone to it.


  2. a rather tangential contribution to this post..but a lovely folk song about Shringar…and the second stanza devoted to zevar (including the very evocative pice of jewelry, the jhoomar)
    chale aao saiayn rangeele main vaari re from Bazaar


    • Ah, I’d been looking for songs with jhoomars in them, but couldn’t find any. Nice song, and I love the all-encompassing element of shringaar ras in it. While we’re on it, let me plug in another song in shringaar ras, which also mentions a fair bit about dressing up and putting on jewellery: Thaare rahiyo o baanke yaar, from Pakeezah:


  3. Silver jhaanjhar was one of the first pieces of jewellery we owned as little girls (apart of the baalis). Wore them for weddings & stuff. Bought some for my daughter too. Is it a Punjab thing?
    Btw there were some astonishingly elaborate ones belonging to grandmother from her wedding – really heavy!


    • That’s interesting. Of all of these ornaments mentioned, the only ones I don’t actually remember even seeing in real life are jhaanjhars – at least, I don’t remember. No idea if it’s a Punjab thing or not – maybe others from different parts of the country can say. In any case, Hindi cinema is, to a fair extent, so Punjabi-ised that it’s hard to tell simply from what one sees onscreen.


    • Yes, I once wore a really heavy anklets belonging to my aunt. Had to secure it with a string. But wearing them felt heavenly.

      But Baali was the first ornament allowed to a girl. It was a sign of a girl growing up.


      • The anklets we’ve always had in our family have been the typical paayals – light and delicate. Lara has her own pair, passed on from her cousin (my sister’s daughter): a pair of little silver ones which have tiny bells attached. Loves them!

        Baalis, by the way, were the first earrings to be put into our ears after the black thread used to pierce them came out. And they had to be of gold, to prevent festering.


  4. and this a nice thumri by Shobha Gurtu
    nathaiya ne hai ram bada dukh deena , obscure movie Sajjo Rani, .. (hadnt known that till today!) , but remembered the song from old AIR programmes


    • Good song. I had come across this while doing my research, but since it didn’t fit my time period (and I haven’t seen the film), I had to omit it.

      Mujras and similar performances have their fair share of jewellery songs, don’t they? I suppose something to do with the prevalence of shringaar ras


  5. lots of songs on jewellery in indian movies … daiya ri daiya laaj mohe aaye from Leader , raton ko chori chori bole mera kangana, and of course bindiya chamekegi chudi khankegi from Do Raaste…so posting this slightly off the beat track from aanother obscure movie called Doraha , dole jhumka more, bole pyaara kangana ..


  6. “Paayal wali dekhna….” By Kishore Kumar in film “Ek Raaz”. One of the classical songs sung by Kishore Kumar


  7. There are two more songs on Paayal, one is ” Chham Chham Baaje re Paayaliya” by Manna Dey in Jaane Anjaane, with Shammi Kapoor in disguise. If only Leena Chandravarkar could dance better! Another is ” Mori Chham Chham Baaje re Paayaliya” by Lata Mangeskar in the lips of Bina Rai in Ghunghat.


    • Someone else has linked to the Jaane Anjaane song, but I’ll add the Ghoonghat song here (which also I should have remembered, since I’ve seen the film, and the song is nice).


  8. I was watching the song, Mila hai kisi ka jhumka …, a few days back, and wondered if one could make a post on Lost and found jewelry, with this song and Dhoondo Dhoondo re saajna … and Jhumka gira re … for the lost jewelry. I was wondering how long it would be before you or Anu came up with such a post, since I know you are always playing with ideas for posts, and here you are, with a post on jewelry! I love the first two songs, but songs 5, 7, 9 and 10 do not sound familiar. I will have to listen to them afterwards. Here is another song about payal:

    Padmini is dancing with her payal on her feet.
    and another one, from the movie, Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje:

    I love these musical posts! Keep them coming!


      • Oh, yes. I came across Kaan mein jhumka chaal mein thumka while researching this post. :-) For me, the jhumka song is Jhumka gira re, so I passed this one up. Glad you added it, Karthik.


    • That’s a coincidence, that you should have been thinking of a lost-and-found jewellery post, Lalitha! I don’t think I could come up with ten songs that deal so specifically with lost-and-found, but I guess this is the best I can do towards that. Glad you liked the post. :-)

      I had never heard of Aashiq or of Jhanan-jhan-jhanaake apni paayal, but am glad you introduced me to it. Liked it a lot. And yes, Jhanak-jhanak paayal baaje is, of course, so famous. Very good song, too.


  9. Aah, finally the jewellery post is here :-)
    Vyjayanthimala looks gorgeous in Dhoondo dhoondo re saajna… I think I like the song more because of her looks! The Chand Aur Suraj song was also fresh in my memory as I was trying to watch the movie last week. Tanuja is very much at her loveliest in this film – chirpy and very sweet.

    Coming to the theme of the post, the songs that come to my mind are:
    a) Jhanan jhanajhanake apni Payal from Aashiq: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SfWa-UpbpE

    b) Gir gaya jhumka, girne do from Jugnu (1973): This is post your cut-off date, but features jhumka and mundri, that have been lost thanks to the first flushes of love! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ2k5ZjmLj8

    c) And another one, way past your cut-off date, and one that used to blare a lot during my college days – Jhanjhariya uski chhanak gayi, from Krishna (1996):

    d) and this one from Soorat aur seerat (1962)…Baje pag painjani: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vD4Wwybwho
    No clue about the video, and the audio file I have is of a much higher quality. Asha’s voice does not sound so muffled as in this video.

    Thanks, Madhu… Interesting post, enjoyed reading it…:-)


    • Thank you so much, Harini! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I had been telling myself I should hurry up and publish this post, because it’s been a while since I told you about it. (And, in the meantime, I’ve nearly finished another list post).

      It’s been quite a while since I watched Chaand aur Suraj, so I’ve pretty much forgotten it, but I do remember Tanuja in Baagh mein kali khili – she’s so lovely and uninhibitedly cheery. One of my favourite actresses.

      Thank you for the songs. As it happened, Lalitha also posted the Aashiq song – the first time I’d heard it (and I liked it a lot). I also love Gir gaya jhumka, even if it’s not from within the time frame my blog restricts itself to! The song from Soorat aur Seerat was new to me, but that’s a good one, too. And Jhaanjharia… well, that was not a good period for Hindi film music, was it? ;-) But yes, the song fits, absolutely. And jhaanjhar songs being so few and far between, even better.


  10. OMG! I just spent half an hour writing, copying pasting and it’s all gone :( hope I can recall….)
    First of all, hats off to you for such a nice topic and coming up with so many different jewellery pieces. The first few songs that came to mind were the same as Lalitha mentioned.. The very first song, mila hai kisi ka jhoomka… I thought, I bet it is off limit because it really is about a flower and I was right ! I really enjoyed listening to all the songs you listed. The Lelo choodiyan was new to me. There is another song staring with the same words, I will post if I can find it. My favourite on your list is Janu Janu re.. You mentioned a 1947 song with jhoomka gira re, I came across another years ago from a b/w movie. A young village boy is singing the same mukhda with a similar tune. I have not found it again nor do I remember the movie. I also like the Padmini song a lot that Lalitha posted. It seems we have a lot of payal songs. I will post a few songs separately as I don’t want to lose the comment again.


    • Arrgh! Poor you. :-( That’s a horrible thing to happen. It’s happened to me a couple of times, and I know how awful it is to spend time and effort writing a nice long comment, only to have it disappear into cyberspace. (And I don’t even know where it could have gone, since I can’t find it even in my spam folder).

      Thank you, though, for taking the time to write your comment again. And I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! If you come across that movie with the village boy singing the song similar to Jhumka gira re, do please post it here.


  11. Jhan jhan jhan payal baaje from Buzdil

    Incidentally, S.D. Burman has sung the same ( Raag Malkaunce ) in bengali, it is quite a treat to listen to.

    Another from Rani Roopmati

    One last one about the Kangana, Khanak gayo, hai bairi Kangana


    • That’s a lovely quartet of songs, Neeru! Thank you so much – so many paayals seem to have contributed to music in Hindi cinema. :-) I have heard Jhan-jhan-jhan-jhan manjeera baaje before; such a wonderful song (and, I have to admit, part of my love for that song is because SD Burman’s sung it; his voice gives me gooseflesh). I had completely forgotten about Jhanan-jhanan-jhan baaje paayaliya from Rani Roopmati: lovely song.

      Khanak gayo haaye bairi kangna is also so beautiful. I like the way the music in the stanzas is so very ‘Indian’, but the start has a fairly Western feel to it.


    • Ah, so this is the one! I never thought I’d see Johnny Walker selling churis. Cute song. Thank you for that. :-)

      Talking about churis, here’s a little-known song from Dahej, Churi dheere pehna, which has a female seller of churis being told to be gentle. It’s a sangeet song, so fits into the wedding songs category too.


        • Thank you!

          The Meena Kumari screen shot is from Piya aiso jiyaa mein samaaye gayo re (as you’d probably guessed). No specific jewellery,but that song is for me the embodiment of shringaar ras.


  12. Here is one with the significance of Green bangles. I guess in some regions, green bangles are for wedding. The opening scene shows a lot of shinghar but the song is about green bangles.


    • I’ve watched Hare Kaanch ki Churiyaan years ago on Doordarshan – and remember not liking it very much (partly, I think, because I don’t care for Naina Sahu). And the combination of her with Biswajit (he’s prettier than her!) isn’t that great.

      By the way, would you know what those chains on her hands – the ones going from her bangles to her rings – are called?


  13. Madhu,
    Nice post. Jhumka gira re in more ancient than Shamshad Begum’s 1947 version. It is apparently an old Punjabi folk song. Here is a traditional folk style singing by Miss Dulari, a well known name in the 1930s. The sound is typically 30s.



    • AK, trust you to come up with something truly informative! That was a really good snippet of trivia. Thank you.

      I think Miss Dulari’s version is more similar in tune (not orchestration, pace, etc) to the Mera Saaya one than the Shamshad Begum one is. Here I can see a definite resemblance to the 60s song, which I couldn’t see in the Shamshad song.

      Suggestion for a post: songs which appear in different versions across the years? Like this, and Inhi logon ne le leena dupatta mera?


  14. Interesting selection of songs on an unusual theme! As someone has said, payal seems to have a disproportionate share of songs featuring ornaments … maybe because it is related to dancing, which is an integral part of many film songs. Here is one more payal song from Aarti


  15. Would it surprise you that I had a list of ‘jewellery’ songs? :) But thanks to you, I discovered new names for some of the ornaments; while I’d heard of Chhabi ka challa for instance, I didn’t know that it was an ornament as well.

    Here is one from Laila Majnu; they are singing about paazeb.

    And ghungroos again, from Phagun

    And one from the nineties, singing about choodi and kangna not great, but I have a soft spot for Juhi…

    I think payals and choodis are the most celebrated ornaments in song.


    • No, I’m not surprised, Anu! And I look forward to reading your post someday. :-)

      Is reshami paazeb ki jhankaar ke sadke was new to me (I always thought it was paajeb, but she certainly seems to be pronouncing it as paazeb). And, how can a paazeb/paajeb be silken?

      But less quibbling. :-D I like Chhun-chhun ghungroo bole, and I don’t really mind Churi baji hai (Yes Boss, as far as I’m concerned, didn’t have as awful music as most of the other films from the 90s).


  16. and this is not a particular favourite of mine but since it talks of a different ornament i suppose it can be posted here
    bajuband bajuband from Prem Granth


    • Wow. I’d never heard of this song. I had fleetingly wondered if the baazuband featured in any song, but I didn’t actually go around looking for one. Yes, not a great song, but I think it deserves a place here if we’re trying to make this discussion as comprehensive as we can. Thank you for that!


  17. i couldnt resist posting this as this doe mention ornaments like Jhanjhar, Chooda and Jhoomar in the course of the song and starts with ‘yaar hi mera gehna ‘ :)
    Ni main yaar manana ni from Daag


  18. Thanks for post, because I like jewellery a lot!:) And I have some payals so I support this payal-trend:) Especially thanks for Asha-Geeta duet – I haven’t heard before and it is so beautiful!
    And certainely I should add this pretty bengali song about bracelets and anklets from the movie Sathi Para


    • I’m glad you enjoyed that, Anna! I used to have paayals when I was a little girl, but no longer. Now the only jewellery I consistently wear are my rings – wedding and engagement. When I go out, earrings and a bangle or two, but that’s usually it.

      I hadn’t heard Aayna basa churi gulo before. Lovely song! Thank you for that. :-)


  19. Superb post, Madhu. I didn’t even realise there were 10 different types of ornaments :-) . And I didn’t know the toe-ring is called a “bichhua”. :-)

    So this post is not just informative in terms of songs but also generally enlightening for me. Thanks for this wonderful post.


    • Thank you, Raja! Glad you enjoyed the post. :-) One of these ornaments – the jhaanjhar – was something I hadn’t really known (though I’d heard of it) before.


  20. Madhu,
    Very interesting topic supported with good songs, with plenty of opportunity for us add a lot more.
    I see lower case ak has already added a baju bandh song but as he has himself said that song is not up to the standard, let me add a beautiful baju bandh song. I remember my mom humming this, I had forgotten it, but as I read your blog it resurfaced, thanks.
    Baju bandh mora khul khul jaye


  21. And, what a coincidence. Over at Richard’s blog, there’s this set of video clips of a Russian dance troupe (Mayuri) that performs Indian dances. One of the videos is of a song I like – and about kangans . Khanke toh khanke kyon khanke, from Vallah Kya Baat Hai:


  22. Hats off Madhu for coming up with a lovely theme. A great selection of songs by you and also lovely additions by the readers.

    Here is an unusual song. Na kajre ki dhaar was originally composed by Kalyanji-Anandji and recorded with Mukesh. Since the song was not released, it was reused by Kalyanji’s son Viju Shah in Mohra with Pankaj Udhas singing the modern version. Here is the link to the unreleased original version sung by Mukesh.


    • Wah. That is quite a find. I personally like this version better. I am not a huge fan of Pankaj Udhas’s (come to think of it, I don’t always like Mukesh either) – but I prefer Mukesh’s version to Udhas’s. Thank you for that!


  23. Superb post! Among my top favorites from your list are- Jhumka gira re,Jhanak-jhanak tori baaje paayaliya, Jaanu jaanu ri kaahe khanke hai tora kangna,and Dhoondo dhoondo re saajna. Moreever,I enjoyed the songs mentioned in the comments sections too……and the comment about Biswajit “(partly, I think, because I don’t care for Naina Sahu). And the combination of her with Biswajit (he’s prettier than her!) isn’t that great” :) :)
    My favorite song on the above theme is from Gaban featuring my favorite actress—-
    Maine Dekha Tha Sapno Me Ik Chandrahar


    and another marathi song “Bugadi Majhi Sandali Ga” featuring Jayshree Gadkar and sung by Asha from Sangte Aika (1959) which is the predecessor to “Jhumka gira re”



    • Thank you, coolone160! :-) I’m glad you liked the post – and that you contributed two nice songs of your own. I had never heard the Gaban song either (let alone the Marathi one), even though I’ve got Gaban on my wishlist. Unusual ornament there, the chandrahaar; I don’t think I’ve ever come across any other song featuring that.

      By the way, in the Marathi song, what is the jewellery? My Marathi is non-existent, but I’d like to know, please!


  24. Wow! What a subject and what a collection of songs, that includes both your collection and those contributed by your readers. I was trying to think of at least one song from the pre-70s but couldn’t think of any that was not already contributed by your readers.
    Then I had my light-bulb-moment and I thought of this song from Ma Beta and doesn’t my father look handsome and sweet.


    • Thank you, Shilpi! I’m glad you liked the post – and thank you for Chhan-chhane paayal chhanke. I’d never heard this song before, but yes, your father does look very handsome here. Will you be insulted if I tell you that I was drooling? I mean, your father and all, but yes – yummy. :-D


    • I’d never even heard of Mahaharat, but Meri chhun-chhun paayal sun tukhko pukaare was very nice! Thanks for that, and for Baaje ghungroo chhun-chhun (which had been on my shortlist, though I dropped it).


      • Then u shd include mahabharat in your review list :D
        Pradeep kumar as Arjun
        Dara singh as bheem
        Padmini as draupadi.
        Worth watching film…..
        Have wondorfulsongs…


        • I have already bookmarked it on Youtube! I am not a fan of mythologicals, but given a choice, I would prefer the Mahabharat over the Ramayana any day for sheer entertainment value. And that star cast is mouthwatering in itself! Thank you for telling me about this, Afsal. :-)


  25. There is one song which I remember vaguely, but it may be from the 70’s or early 80’s. It has this couple and some girls asking the bhaiya to get the bhabhi a ring (?) – may be chandi ka chhalla or mundri, not sure. It may have starred Parikshit Sahni and Raakhee, but again, it has been a long time and I am not sure. I just seem to remember it from one of those Chitrahaar programs, and since I left India in ’81, I am guessing at the time frame to be around that time. I remember the scene, again vaguely, because I can’t recall the faces. Any ideas?


      • I had a feeling I’d heard Bhabhi ki ungli mein heere ka chhalla when it started – the music was familiar – but then, when that stuff about the bhabhi and bhaiya being malai and makkhan came up, I was quite sure I hadn’t heard it! One remembers stuff like that.

        I wonder why Raakhee looks so pulled-down, what with those dark circles under her eyes… have you seen this film, Lalitha?


        • oh she looks pulled down because she has sacrificed her life (and boyfriend/love interest) to bring up her younger brother and sisters..Tapasya the movies was called, so its her Tapasya…hence the weighed down look. After its successful remake of Nadiya ke Paar into Hum Aapke hain Kaun, Rajshri Productions and Sooraj Barjatiya tried remaking Tapasya into Ek Vivah aisa Bhi (with Isha Kopikar and Sonu Sood) ..but that pretty much sank without a trace :)


  26. Jewellery songs, that is a good theme.
    “Mila hai kisi ka jhumka—which refers to a flower as a earring”
    Does she? I know she is holding a hibiscus flower in her hand, while she sings it, but I think she means a real jhumkaa or at least some earring. But can’t really show it because she hasn’t got it really. Anyway, it wouldn’t fit in according to your rules.

    “jhumka is … a dangling dome-shaped ornament which hangs from a stud secured at the ear”
    Didn’t know that. But why Bareilly? Was it by any chance famous for its markets or for its eve teasers? ;) or it just fits in well for the alliteration.

    Simply love dhoondo dhoondo re saajna mere kaan ka baala. Thanks also for the explanation about baala and baali umar. Never saw that connection before.

    “In my opinion, this is one song that should be heard and not seen.”
    For me this holds true for msot of the Hindi film songs. There is hardly any song, for which I thought, wow the picturisation of it has heightened the pleasure of listening to the song. More like watching a film after reading the book.

    “She said ghungroos, or ankle bells, weren’t ornaments; they were functional, practical.”
    I should say, I agree with your friend. :(
    I do agree with you that Padmini is moving her lips to Meena’s song.

    I never knew what exactly was bichhua. I knew that one meaning is a scorpion but not about the ornament. Tanuja does look very lovely here, well, where doesn’t she look lovely? And her dancing looks very authentic, as if she is still learning it. ;)
    LOVE this song.

    I didn’t know that jhaanjhar and ghungroo were two different things. Even the song is totally new for me. Mumtaz looks so young. She must’ve been what, 15 or 16 at that time?

    “churi, and its symbolism as the sign of a married woman”
    But unmarried women wear bangles as well, don’t they? Only green bangles are the sign of a married woman, aren’t they? Like in Hari Kaanch Ki Chudiyaan.

    So Kangan is not the same as Chudi. Very beautiful song this jaanu jaanu re.

    “A chhalla is a ring”
    I had no idea what was this chhallaa. Thanks for that.

    Thank God, I knew, what was gale kaa haar! :D

    I think by now many of the well-known song must have been posted. Here is one with jhumkaa and mundri (whatever it is)

    I’m sorry, I don’t know much about jewellery. :(


    • Harvey, I love your comments. :-) So delightful and insightful and humorous, all at the same time!

      There isn’t a real jhumka anywhere in Parakh, so I still think the reference to the jhumka in Mila hai kisi ka jhumka is a cute way of referring to the hibiscus. Which, I think, does look a little like a earring…

      I don’t think Bareilly has anything specific to do with jhumkas or rowdies in the marketplace. Probably just used because it gives the song direction, and fits in with the rhyme scheme. Somewhat like the maalan named Chameli who came from Bikaner (that song, if I remember, attracted much protest from Bikanerwallahs because they felt it derided their women!)

      I knew a chhalla was a ring, but I always thought it meant only a key ring (chaabi ka chhalla, remember?). It was only when I watched Anjaana – which has a long convoluted episode revolving around an angoothi (heerewaali) and an iron chhalla – that I discovered what it is.

      I love Gir gaya jhumka! Such a lovely song. Thank you for that! :-)


  27. One Bindiya leads to many more
    khanake kangana bindiya hanse from Dr. Vidya

    And two more from time-period beyond your blog

    teri bindiyaa re from Abhimaan although she is just wearing the plain bindiya and not the ornamental one.

    koi mere maathe ki from Aanchal Ki chhaon me


    • Khanke kangna bindiya hanse would qualify, since it does mention kangna – which of course is an ornament – but bindiya, strictly speaking, is not jewellery. A maang teeka or jhoomar would be jewellery, but not a simple little bindiya. That would qualify as makeup, I think… and that makes me wonder if it would be possible to compile a makeup songs post. Probably not, though; offhand, all I can think of is bindiya and kaajal.


        • Yes, the thing that hangs along the maang and onto the forehead is called a maang teeka or a jhoomar. Someone’s posted a jhoomar song in the comments. Incidentally, I was searching for jhoomar songs on Youtube, and the videos I kept coming up with were all about how to wear one stylishly! Apparently if you have to wear it fashionably, it requires quite a lot of intricate hairstyling etc,


  28. Lovely theme, Madhu. dhoondo dhoondo re saajna is one of my favourite songs. Love the melodious and at places, rippling, tune.
    jhumka gira re I believe is a line from a folk song.
    The moment I read the theme of the post the song that popped into my head that I would post if no one had was khanke to khanke :-)
    I like this song not only for its lovely tune but Bina Rai’s ada at about 0:24 :-D

    This is from phir vohi dil laya hoon 1963 about payal. I think the difference between payal and jhanjhar is the thickness and the height at which it’s worn. Payal being meagre and worn low while jhanjhar being wide intricate and worn high.
    Love its semi classical tune.


    • Not many songs about nathani. Found several in bhojpuri though LOL. This is a non filmi song and also one of my favourites. Lovely tune and sung gorgeously by Manna dey.


      • Song from leader, also about payal daiyya re daiyya
        Also mentions jhanjhar, choodiyan etc all that makes noise when moving.


        • I’d forgotten all about this song, though I have seen Leader (and reviewed it). Probably my overall feelings about the film were so negative, I tend to forget most of the songs, barring a couple! Yes, lots of jewellery there.


      • Okay, I had never heard Nathli se toota moti re before, and the initial reaction (before I started listening) was “Bhojpuri? Huh?” But what a lovely song. Really beautiful, and Manna Dey is – well, sublime as ever. Thank you for that. :-)


    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, pacifist.

      I do like Dekho bijli dole (and, unsurprisingly, considering it’s a dance performance, the ghungroos make their presence felt in the music)… only, I think the reference to the ghungroos is rather too tucked away – not in the first line, as in all the other songs.


      • nahi nahi the ornament for which I posted the song is payal which comes in the second long line of the verse;
        dekho bijli dole bin badal ke
        cham cham chamke maathe ki bindiya
        jhanan jhanan dhun payal ki

        OK 3rd line of the chorus :-)


        • Yes, well… still quite tucked away, if you know what I mean. ;-) If you look at all the songs I’ve picked, the name of the ornament appears within the first line of the song. But since everybody has gone all over the place in their songs within the comments, including even songs that mention different types of jewellery, I don’t see why this shouldn’t be here in the comments too.


  29. I was tempted to post this earlier, does mention Nathni and jhumka besides ghunghroo. Mere paron mein ghunghroo Bandha de…Dilip Kumar in Sangharsh


  30. I was waiting to see if anybody would post two pretty well-known songs (though not pre-70s) which feature churis. Since everybody seems to have overlooked these songs, I may as well post them. :-)

    First (and I don’t like this song, even though it was hugely popular once), Mere haathon mein nau-nau churiyaan from Chaandni:

    And, beginning with similar words but a much nicer tune, Tere haathon mein pehnaake churiyaan, from Jaani Dushman:


  31. Have a question. What does ghungharwa mean ? I thought it was ghunghroo, but in the song ghungharwa mora Cham Cham baje, Helen keeps pointing to her hair ornament ( a small jhoomer like clip). There is jhanan jhanan ghungharwa from Aah and chun chun ghungharwa from Mahal. Abida khanam has a lovely rendition of a ghungharwa which indicates ghunghroo. Thanks to your post, listening to some really lively songs :).


    • That’s metaphorical, isn’t it? If you read my introduction to the post, jewellery as a metaphor disqualifies a song – which is why I haven’t included Chhoti si mulaqaat pyaar ban gayi… this is exactly the same idiom being used. Not literal jewellery.


  32. What a fun post, Madhu! Even thought I don’t wear much, I love Indian jewelry..so, so very pretty! The best part of this post is learning the actual terms for the various items of jewelry, like bichua, nathani, etc. I think every item of Indian jewelry has been featured in the post or the comments except for the “kamarband.” Wonder if there is a song that references it?

    Anyway, here’s another “ghungroo” song that hasn’t been mentioned yet: O re ghungroo Ka bole from Hare Rama Hare Krishna featuring the always lovely Mumtaz.


    • It is ironic, isn’t it, that someone like me should do this post, Shalini! Even I wear almost no jewellery – my wedding and engagement rings are the only ornaments I habitually wear, and earrings or a couple of bangles if I go out. That’s it. But yes, I do think Indian jewellery can be really lovely!

      That’s a really nice song. Had forgotten about this one – and Mumtaz is so pretty. Love her. :-)


  33. Wow, what a list! Despite my limited ability to translate Hindi lyrics, I thought of quite a few songs, myself, and almost all of them were mentioned here. (And, by the way, Madhu, thanks for that reference for “Khanke To Khanke.” I knew that you and a couple of other other people out there would probably know the original because it was a Shammi Kapoor song.)

    There is one song in the payal/baje/chan chan chan area that sprang to my mind which I didn’t see listed here so far. Maybe that’s because it’s from Pakistan. But I think everyone should know about this one… Of course, the singing is beautiful!

    Then, going a bit farther back, there is this song from Street Singer (1938). I can’t make out most of the lyrics, but the beginning part (which always gets stuck in my head) certainly seems to fit. :)


    • Richard, thank you so much for that! I hadn’t heard Chhun chhun chhun chhun baaje paayal baaje before, but what a wonderful song. Beautiful music, and beautifully rendered too. Have you seen Neend?

      The only song from Street Singer that I’d heard before this was the iconic and haunting Baabul mora, but Ghungarwa baaje chhan chhan chhan is very good too.


      • Oh, good you enjoyed that song as much as I did!

        I haven’t watched all of Neend, though I have seen all the song sequences. It’s up on Tommydan55, with subtitles, so I should check it out some day. I haven’t watched a lot of whole movies lately, and I’m sorry to say that I lost interest in a few of the Pakistani Noor Jehan films although I actually loved the songs from them. Dupatta was a big exception, and I also enjoyed watching all of the Punjabi film Nooran (even though it was a lot like Mirza Sahiban). I also liked watching Intezar even without subtitles. Maybe I’ll get to Neend sometime soon…


        • Besides Dopatta, the only other Pakistani film I’ve watched is Armaan, which – despite its huge popularity and success, left me pretty cold. I’ll make a note of Nooran and Intezaar. Though, considering I barely find the time to watch the films I’ve already got, I don’t know when I’ll get around to watching all these others!


  34. Richard, your comment spurred me on to add another song, because I first read about this film on your blog. Besides the fact that Meena Kumari looks lovely and Pagri pehenke turredaar is a delightfully infectious song, there’s the added joy of a song which mentions an ornament for a man – a turra being the turban ornament that’s worn on the side of the turban (as opposed to a sarpech, which is worn on the front of the turban). I can’t see that the actor here is wearing a turra in his turban (though he’s wearing earrings), but still.


    • That’s a good one! I guess I didn’t know what a turra was, either. I wonder if there was any effort to translate it. :) This video only has subtitles in the scene after the song. I think my DVD has subtitles for the songs, but I will have to find it first. Maybe I’ll look into that later.


      • Turra would translate to ‘turban ornament’. Another blog reader mentions something interesting in one of her comments: that the turra also refers to the fan-like end of cloth of the turban which sticks up in this case. (You can see it fairly frequently as part of the uniform of Indian policemen in old films). A case of what was originally a jewelled ornament – often with a feather – being transformed into a less flamboyant and far cheaper version.


    • I would think that should perhaps be part of makeup? I was puzzling over that too. Somehow I think of jewellery only as something lasting, even if it’s not made from precious metals.

      And, ever since Harvey began putting in bindiya songs, I’ve been wondering what could form a makeup list. Bindiya, kaajal, gajraa (if one counts that as makeup). Mehendi too… wonder what else.


  35. And Neeru (who, for some odd reason, is unable to post any more on this particular post) sent me this really oddly-picturised song from Naag Devtaa, where snakes play musical instruments and a woman dances. This is Jhankaar paayal ki tose binti kare:


  36. One Gujarati song that immediately comes to mind is “Jhat Jao Chandanhaar Lavo” from the film Akhand Saubhagyavati,1963 (also starring Asha Parekh). It is picturized on Shammi, who demands that her husband present her with a ‘chandan haar’ or else she won’t lift her ghoonghat, and an increasingly fraught Agha. The banter between them is really cute, she threatens to go on a strike (not cook for him) while he bemoans that falling in love turned out to be too expensive for him. She dreams of frolicking in Surat and visiting Mumbai wearing the haar upon her neck, and he warns her he’ll run away to Bhavnagar if she doesn’t stop pestering him. The song was hugely popular at that time and I’ve heard that chandan-haars were sold out in every jewellery shop in Bombay following its release (though how true this could be is yet to be ascertained).


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